The Dark

By John McGahern

Synopsis

The Dark, widely acclaimed, yet infamously banned, is John McGahern’s sensitive, perceptive, and beautifully written portrayal of a young man’s coming-of-age in rural Ireland. Imaginative and introverted, the boy is successful in school, but bitterly confused by the guilt-inducing questions he endures from the priests who should be his venerated guides. His relationship with his bullying, bigoted, widowed father is similarly conflicted — touched with both deep love and carefully suppressed hatred. When he must leave home to further his education, their relationship is drawn to an emotional climax that teaches both father and son some of the most intricate truths about manhood.